Shoot ‘Em Up

83 minutes long, at least 60 of which are non-stop action! This tongue in cheek actioner starring Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti and Monica Bellucci is an assault on the senses, fuelled by a heavy metal soundtrack featuring Motörhead, AC/DC, and Mötley Crüe and barely enough plot to fill a fifth formers book report. Owen playsContinue reading “Shoot ‘Em Up”

Donnie Darko

When it was released, I described Donnie Darko as David Lynch for teenagers, and then 26 year old writer-director Richard Kelly is Lynch-in-training. That was in 2001. And while Kelly appears to have been a one-hit wonder, his debut feature continues to amaze and delight – a magic realism horror ride, moody and resplendent withContinue reading “Donnie Darko”

I Served the King of England

This dazzler from the Czech Republic coyly weaves a subtle dash of magic realism into the life of an ordinary little man, a Prague waiter who dreams of becoming a millionaire. We meet Jan Díte (Ivan Barnev and Oldrich Kaiser) as he exits a Czech prison sometime in the 60s, grateful for the amnesty thatContinue reading “I Served the King of England”

Citizen Kane

How do you ‘review’ the film that consistently tops both viewers and critics’ polls as the greatest movie of all time? The Citizen Kane DVD is without doubt, the finest b&w transfer for home video ever, not only is there no trace of film grain and age (except the News on the March, newsreel sections),Continue reading “Citizen Kane”

Croupier

Sophisticated and stylish, Mike Hodges’ (Get Carter) Croupier is a contemporary film noir masterpiece; its star, Clive Owen, an embodiment of Humphrey Bogart’s detached cool not seen since Annette Benning’s performance in the Grifters.  If you see only one indy film this year – make it Croupier. Clive Owen is Jack Manfred – an aspiringContinue reading “Croupier”

Viridiana

Luis Buñuel grabbed worldwide attention in 1929 with his very first film, Un Chien Andalou, made with his close friend, Salvador Dali. The 17-minute short opened with a shot of an eyeball being sliced, grisly special effects for the time. With Dali and their friend, Federico García Lorca, he pioneered the use of surrealism inContinue reading “Viridiana”

Malena

The day Mussolini declared war on France and Britain, 13-year-old Renato Amoroso (Giuseppe Sulfaro) got his first bicycle and fell in love with Malena Scordia (Monica Bellucci), a 27-year-old war bride whose husband joined the fight in Africa.  There is not a man in the sleepy Sicilian village who does not drool over the exquisiteContinue reading “Malena”

Best in Show

Once a year, the American doggie elite congregates in Philadelphia for the Mayflower Dog Show – travelling by air, caravan, BMW and station wagon – projecting their dreams and hopes onto the family pet.  Christopher Guest’s mockumentary, Best in Show digs down deep into the psyches of the owners and the nitty-gritty politics of showContinue reading “Best in Show”